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The primary great circle of a sphere or spheroid, such as the earth, perpendicular to the polar axis; or a line resembling or approximating such a circle. </dd>
The terrestrial equator is 90� from the earth's geographical poles; the celestial equator or equinoctial is 90 � from the celestial poles; the galactic equator or galactic circle is 90� from the galactic poles. The astronomical equator is a line connecting points having 0� astronomical latitude; the geodetic equator connects points having 0� geodetic latitude. The expression terrestrial equator is sometimes applied to the astronomical equator. The geodetic equator is shown on charts. A fictitious equator is a reference line serving as the origin for measurement of fictitious latitude. A transverse or inverse equator is a meridian the plane of which is perpendicular to the axis of a transverse projection. An oblique equator is a great circle the plane of which is perpendicular to the axis of an oblique projection. A grid equator is a line perpendicular to a prime grid meridian at the origin. The magnetic equator or aclinic line is that line on the surface of the earth connecting all points at which the magnetic dip is zero. The geomagnetic equator is the great circle 90� from the geomagnetic poles of the earth. </dd>


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use